BMW and SGL's joint venture in Moses Lake, WA, started operations in September 2011.
Polyacrylonitrile, or PAN, precursor material to carbon fiber. It is separated and stretched before going into ovens.
PAN oxidized in four ovens. During process it turns from white to shades of gold.
At end of oxidation process PAN color goes from gold to black. Once PAN oxidized it can't melt and is non-flammable.
After oxidation PAN carbonized, becoming carbon fiber.
Some 1.7 miles of carbon fiber wrapped around single bobbin. Bobbins shipped to BMW-SGL JV plant in Wackersdorf, Germany.
Building 1 housing lines 1 and 2 in foreground, building 2 with lines 3 and 4 in middle. Ground broken last week on building 3 for lines 5 and 6.
BMW and supplier SGL offer a peak into their carbon-fiber production process in Moses Lake, WA. (See related story: Carbon Fiber Production Simple But Complex.)
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